Which web browser do you use?
Most of the world seems to be settled around Chrome and Safari these days. I remember using Firefox a long time ago myself but then everyone started switching to Chrome and that also turned out to be a natural path of least resistance for web developers like me who had to test web apps in local environment.
This switch happened in circa 2015-16 if I recall correctly, many other browsers have evolved since then and people are looking at alternatives. The Android Kiwi browser, for example, is a great alternative for power users on mobile who need plugins but Chrome won't allow that. Other alternatives have evolved too like Brendan Eich's Brave browser which seems to be promising. Anyone here tried that yet?
I have half a mind to go back to Firefox but I recently learned about how Mozilla Corp is also funded by Google and that turned me off. Wouldn't you rather want to deal with the Devil directly instead of the Devil's assistant or sidekick!
And then there are also those who use Garibaldi, Midori, etc. but I can't go that purist way. I'm way too dependent on the digital way of life and sites like amazon and flipkart won't work in those browsers. What do you think should be the right path ahead from here?
Firefox. It's borderline a moral imperative. Using any Chrome reskin just strengthens Google's grip on the Web by giving them even greater control over what is de facto standard.
Mozilla actually auctions the default search engine space, and it's flipped in the past. They're not uniformly dependent on Google for all their funding. Furthermore, the Mozilla Corporation is wholly owned by the Mozilla Foundation, which is a nonprofit with highly worthwhile guiding principles. (This arrangement exists for tax purposes, but seems to confuse the bajeezus out of a lot of onlookers.)
Firefox because I refuse to regularly use any Chromium-based browser. I keep one around as a backup / secondary browser for very occasional use when necessary, but Firefox is 99% of my usage (at least at home)
firefox linux and fennec on my phone. mozilla is the "best" there is. it might not be what we need but what we deserve!
no but honestly, i dont know how anybody tech literate can still conciously choose google tech for their daily browsing.
I'm pretty tech literate. I use Google's phone hardware because it takes good pictures and that's important to me. I use their email because it's decent and doesn't cost me money. I use their search engine because it's fast and reliable. I use their voice assistant because it works well enough for the limited uses I have for voice assistants. I really liked their social network and was very sad when they killed it. Lots of Google tech in my life.
Funnily enough one thing I don't use is their web browser any more, except for a couple of things where Firefox can't do the job. But that's only because Firefox offers marginally better performance and a cross-device sync which works slightly better for me.
Google provide a number of good services in exchange for holding a profile on me to show me some adverts. I think that's a good deal. Largely because I don't care about them having "my data", and I trust them to keep it secure (and even if they didn't, I still don't care).
hey cool it works for you. It did never for me.
But yes, I am as well Ideologicaly charged in this themes. FOSS or die! :-P
I think it's just very important that we don't give big companies that much control over our technology.
I just read this essey from cory doctorow and it just explains so much how i feel when interacting with non FOSS, non open systems.
Uhm, you're probably talking about Mozilla making money from using Google as the default search engine. I personally don't see how that makes them "the devil's sidekick" or even remotely as bad as Google.
Mozilla (there's actually two "Mozillas" for tax/charity reasons, but the distinction is mostly technical) might sometimes get a little ahead of itself with its many side-projects it tries to push but I don't mind the only major independent browser company trying out things and looking for revenue streams. IMO Firefox is one of the most successful independent FOSS projects out there and I'll happily continue to support them as I have done since 2005 or so. It has great UX, runs great (I don't notice pages "loading" and if I do, it's mostly the server/my internet and not the browser) and doesn't come with Google shit crammed in every nook and cranny. There's rumors of Google getting more aggressive at blocking adblockers so that will slowly become a factor as well.
Honestly: You'd displaying a bunch of text files and pictures in 2023. That following an open standard is more important than loading 5ms faster and that's honestly the only advantage Chrome ever had.
That's the most cruel and comedic realism of our times that people still keep up with. Why do big websites like ecommerce, news sites, social media, etc. come with so much pomp and bloat even for such basic functionality? Why can't they be something with simple design like Tildes, old reddit, Richard Stallman's site, etc.? There are ways to make these sites look better in aesthetics dept. too by putting some minimal CSS efforts.
Well, Richard Stallman's site is shit, too, and borderline impossible to parse, especially on mobile.
There's a sensible middle ground.
Programmers are specifically told not to optimize things until they become a problem and demand optimization. This means as computers get faster the threshhold for "this is too slow and needs optimization" stays the same in terms of load times. Websites are only as fast as the programmers are impatient.
Then consider that some software development takes place exclusively on desktop computers with wired internet connections. You'd be wrong not to test on a mobile device running on 3G but people are lazy.
I'm not sure that's the whole story. After all, if we didn't keep adding layer upon layer of complex ad targeting, state management, SPA routing, and so forth, we wouldn't see a natural growth in "instructions per website." Unlike, say, video games, basic document websites don't start out in a state of unplayable unoptimization - we programmers make them slow by adding tons of shit the user doesn't want!
Ungoogled Chromium on my computer, and Bromite on my phone. Bromite doesn't allow plugins, but does have a built-in adblocker and a custom userscript manager, which I find more than capable enough.
Ostensibly my reason for using Chromium is that it seems to support my bad habit of having too many tabs open better - but I also have a pretty keen distaste for the bundled features Firefox ships with, like Pocket and advertising (!). Having a "generic" browser that I don't need to be on alert for new settings to disable is nice. I do like Firefox's devtools quite a bit more though.
I use Firefox everywhere except on my iPhone and iPad. On those I use Orion because it supports installing extensions like uBlock Origin or Bypass Paywalls Clean.
Also shout out to qutebrowser, Luakit, and especially Nyxt for being cool projects willing to experiment with what a web browser can be.
Ladybird also deserves a mention for being a web browser written from scratch as part of the SerenityOS project.
I'm very excited about Ladybird, and impressed that hobbyists have proved it is possible to write a browser from scratch, despite the absurd complexity of the modern web that lead some to declare that it is impossible to build a new web browser.
Still, the OP asked "Which web browser do you use?" and I do not believe that you use Ladybird. It is not usable yet. I tried to load this page in a recent build of Ladybird, and I couldn't even view the page title, let alone any of the comments.
Relatedly, the strength and weakness of SerenityOS in general, and Ladybird in particular, is that it is made for tinkerers by tinkerers. They do not produce ready-to-use binaries, they require anyone who wants to use the browser (or OS) to compile it themselves. This complete impracticability is what allowed them to build a community of hackers to do the impossible, as any serious or commercial venture would run screaming from the challenge, while these hackers are willing to do it for fun. Nevertheless, it's a significant barrier to entry for any computer user who has not reached the level of being able to compile their own software. Ladybird cannot be recommended to anyone as a browser they should actually use for web browsing, but rather as an invitation to tinker and experience the joy of coding.
They never claimed to use it and they never recommended people use it.
They just wanted to mention it along with a few others as browsers that are interesting to them.
They even did it in a follow up comment to their comment stating which browser they do use, so I’m not sure how you missed it.
What was the point of writing this comment?
What was the point of writing this comment?
I use Firefox for personal stuff and Chrome for work stuff. I like Firefox because it's pretty good and I want to encourage competition, but practically I don't think it's better than Chrome.
I think Chrome gets too much of a bad rap. It's simple to configure to be very privacy respecting: Settings -> top item "You & Google" -> top item "Sync & Google services" -> turn off "Make searches and browsing better. Sends URLs of pages you visit to Google". (This is also the same setting Chrome shows you first if you go to Settings -> Privacy and Security -> Privacy Guide.) This setting is off by default, but I think maybe if you sign into Chrome with a Google account they show you a screen encouraging you to accept that setting while setting up sync. There's certainly something that can be said about the design philosophy of software that encourages that kind of setting, but it's weird how many people treat Chrome like it's malware that lies about its true functioning that's impossible to use securely.
There's also a lot of misreporting going on about Chrome's MV3 extension API changes misleadingly describing it as being about killing adblockers. Adblockers can still work with MV3; see uBlock Origin Lite. I work on browser extensions for my job and I'm familiar with the API changes happening. The underlying inspiration for the changes and most of the execution are unambiguously pro-user. A thing that wasn't been working well as possible for users is being replaced with something that works better for 3/4 of the use cases. Arguments can be made that Google would do more to make a replacement for that last bit if they cared more deeply about adblockers, but the popular discussions that frame this as Google finally deciding to kill support for adblockers are misleading. Okay, I'm done with the Chrome apologetics now.
Brave looks interesting to me because it's got a real development team unlike many smaller browsers and because it doesn't have an incentive to allow ads (unlike Chrome and even Firefox, which gets money from search providers who want ads to be seen), going as far to block them by default. I'm also very excited that they're trying to support a new funding model for the internet as an alternative to ads (let users pay money directly to sites or have a given amount of money be automatically doled out to sites the user visits, like an in-browser Patreon), though I can't tell if that feature is getting much popularity yet.
Safari is my least favorite browser from a developer's point of view because they're slow to implement many new useful web standards, especially any that threaten to make web apps competitive with native iPhone apps (service workers, push notifications, etc), they're extremely opaque about their development process and plans, and their systems for making extensions have been obnoxiously difficult to use and buggy (though I think this might be better now with their new web extension support).
I'm also not a big fan of Safari for the same reason I dislike Edge: neither are open source. It really can't be understated how amazing it is that so many browsers are open source (Chrome, Firefox, Brave, etc) and that an open source browser (Chrome) is in the lead. I remember when IE was the most popular and it seemed like open source browsers becoming popular was just a pipe dream.
Do you know why I avoid Chrome? Believe it or not, the privacy thing is relatively low on the list. The number one reason why I don't use Chrome is because I can't trust Google.
There's a number of reasons why I can't trust them. You are probably already familiar with the concept of the Google Graveyard, and while I think that it can sometimes be a really unfair way to look at Google's operations, it's one of the more visible examples of how little Google actually cares about its' customers and users. They are famous for making key pieces of infrastructure, having developers and businesses integrate it into their processes, and then throwing them under the bus by discontinuing it. And those are only the most visible examples; what gets far less attention is when a feature gets removed from a larger project. It's also really common for them to completely replace their APIs and the way they handle that transition isn't always the best. The company I am working for is still working to get everything working with Google Analytics 4 even though the previous version, Universal Analytics, is about to be completely suspended in the next month or so.
But the main reason why I can't trust them is because they keep asking for more power and people just keep giving it to them. The web might technically still be based on open standards, but in reality it is Google has enough power to get whatever they want, and Chrome is essentially the stick they use to bludgeon everyone else into doing what they want. There are countless examples of "bugs" in Google products that show up if you're using any browser that is not Chrome, and while most of them get fixed eventually it doesn't fix the damage done to every other browser when users hear that their problems can be instantly fixed by downloading Chrome. Sometimes the con is completely transparent, like when they moved Youtube to use an interface that was still experimental on everything except Chrome, leaving everyone else to using an extremely slow polyfill. Remember that Analytics project I was talking about earlier? That would have normally required us to change the tracking code on our website manually - except that now the preferred way to do it is to use Google Tag Manager, which allows Google to inject code into your website automatically!
Another thing I cant's stand about Google is that it's basically impossible to avoid them, and when you get entangled they are as guilty as any other companies in that they use Dark Patterns to get you to do what they want. Just look at what you have to do to get them to stop tracking your pages; you have to turn off an option that says "Make searches and browsing better". And then there was that whole debacle about how logging into their services would make Chrome log into your account at the same time.
You're right about the reporting about Manifest v3 being sensationalized and one-sided - tech journalism is garbage these days - but the truth of the matter is that adblockers have been hobbled by it. There's a reason why the maintainer calls the Mv3 version of their extention uBlock Origin Lite - it's because it offers a subset of the capabilities of the full version that runs on Mv2.
I actually like Safari from a user perspective; it's clean and unobtrusive and fairly feature-rich, and the way it renders fonts has always been the best of all browsers IMHO. They aren't nearly as bad as Internet Explorer was, but the one thing that really bugs me about it is that you basically need to spend at least $1500 for basic Apple devices to be able to test on all three of their platforms because they each have their own quirks.
The GA3 shutdown did seem pretty sudden (only about a year's notice was given, as I recall). I think it was likely expedited due to Google's concerns about data privacy laws coming down and smacking them hard though. GA4 makes a number of different assumptions which are likely meant to side-step that. For example, IPv4 masking is enabled by default rather than being opt-in. GTM also has a greater focus on plugging in with consent banners now, whereas before it was all basically assumed to run by default on page load.
Another recent change is Google Optimize being sunset. This time only 9 months was given. A/B testing (inherently) requires data to record and measure, so I suspect that once again Google is trying to get ahead of new laws which threaten them. They say they're working on a new solution - not sure what that might look like yet.
Despite the interruption, I'm not too fussed about GA4. It sucks to lose that historical data (and I hate the idea of running two snippets concurrently), but for things like event tracking I find GA4 much nicer to use. Though it is certainly still beta in some areas. Can't even add annotations (notes) yet.
I use Firefox, but mostly I've been soured on the web by having to choose between Dr. Evil and a dog's breakfast. Why do we put up with stupid shit when they're all supposed to be open source? The answer is they have an incentive to make it so complicated that nobody but them can build it from source. Ivan Illich had it right: the world goes to shit when we stop using tools to relate to each other as people. Then people serve their tools.
I still like hyperlinks. Sigh.
I should set this comment to the Hitler meme.
We don't have to put up to it or serve existing tools. A day might come when the free thinking or open source folks will just call it a day and start "inventing" (or rather forking) their own protocols and standards and systems which will be free from capitalist control. In fact, this is how open source itself came into being, people who didn't like IE decided to support Mozilla, those fed up with Windows started installing Ubuntu and going to LUGs. In some distant future, I can definitely see that happening.
Funny you should ask this, because yesterday I almost posted a separate topic about a Chrome/Firefox question. I’ll go ahead and ask it here since it applies to browsers (and also passively answers the question at hand!):
I’m a regular Firefox user, but at work I’m having to switch over to Chrome. One feature of Firefox that I love is using keywords to access bookmarks. I could attach, say, “til” to my Tildes bookmark, and then type “til” in the address bar, hit enter, and it takes me to Tildes.
It’s not a huge deal for top-level sites, but I’ve set up a LOT of internal documentation and references that I need using this in Firefox. It saves me a ton of time and is, at this point, embedded in my workflow. I have a whole vocabulary of keywords that take me instantly to the many places I need to be.
In moving over to Chrome, I can’t seem to find a way to do this. Is this something Chrome can do? A native solution rather than extension would be best if possible, as our extension use is also restricted.
Chrome doesn't let you assign keywords to bookmarks in the same way, but there is a workaround that might work for you, and that workaround is site search engines.
Go to chrome://settings/searchEngines; scroll down to site search and hit "Add"; and then give the custom search engine the name of your bookmark, whatever keyword you want as its "shortcut", and your desired URL. While the hint text says "URL with %s in place of query", it doesn't actually force you to include
%sanywhere, so you can give it your bookmark URL as is and everything will work as expected.
Awesome! Thank you for this. I will try it out when I’m back at work tomorrow.
Replying again to let you know that this worked perfectly. Thank you so much for your help!
I've been using the Arc Browser lately. It's definitely very rough, but I like some of the innovative UX ideas they've brought to the table. It feels a lot like using Opera back before it just became another Chrome skin (even though Arc is itself running on Chromium). The approach to tabbing and bookmarks is really good, though it has some real issues with managing video and streaming content across multiple windows while reading.
I also use Chrome for all work related stuff to keep a separation. Especially since it works best with the GSuite products my company uses.
And then on mobile I use Safari. I occasionally dip into Safari on my desktop as well but I'm trying to habituate to Arc.
I'm also enjoying Arc. They made tab management fun! I didn't think that was possible.
Too bad it seems to be Mac only, I would have tried it.
The money Mozilla receives from Google is for having them as the default search engine, so wouldn't be exactly dealing with the devil (directly or indirectly). Every major browser out there - even Apple's Safari - have such deals.
On my computer (Mac) I use both Brave and Firefox. Every crypto-related stuff is disabled on Brave. I use it as a "Chrome without Google" (Brave is based on Chromium) and it's currently the default browser because it performs better for me. I use Firefox as if it was another Chrome profile (with different bookmarks, extensions, etc). Since extensions like uBlock Origin also works better on Firefox, that's the browser that I prefer for some sites. Both are used daily.
On my phone (Android) I use Firefox as on Android you can use many of their desktop extensions if we create a custom add-on collection. This allows me to do more with the browser than if I used Brave, Kiwi, Bromite, etc.
On my work laptop, I use Chrome - this is a must, since much of the in-house infra is built around Chrome.
On my personal computer, I use Chrome as well. I've been using Chrome since it first came out in like 2009, so it's been over a decade now and I'm very use to it. Sometimes I use Safari as well.
On my phone, I have to use Safari since all browsers must be Safari under the hood, so I use Safari.
I use Firefox since like always, both at work and home. I never made the switch to Chrome when basically everyone seemed to. Never really saw any reason to switch to Chrome, both browsers are so similar in their features and some marginal speed up that used to be promised with Chrome doesn't interest me that much, everything loads so fast anyways.
These days I mostly use qutebrowser. Like so many “alternative” browsers it’s got chromium’s engine under the hood, but with a level of UI configurability unmatched by any other browser I’ve used. I need those sweet, sweet vi bindings.
Does it flawlessly open sites like youtube, amazon, flipkart, etc.? I'm hoping to switch to an open source browser and lighter browser myself, it's just this dependency on "heavy" sites which I think might cause an issue.
It's perfectly performant in my experience. It's a modern, multi-process, blink-derived browser -- I wouldn't really call it lightweight, just configurable and cleanly designed from a UI perspective.
Sidenote: I don't use youtube in any browser, opting for mpv to watch videos instead.
I am fully in the apple ecosystem (except a gaming computer). So I use safari exclusively. I really like safari on all its platforms. The plugin/add on support is good enough for me, and it has a simple style that I really like. On the desktop, it is quite customizable, and has some features that no other browsers I know of have.
At work, I have a windows desktop. I use chrome on that. I used to use edge. Edge used to be a more sensible chrome, but Microsoft seems to want it to be a crappier chrome. They keep adding things like shopping ads and stupid toolbars.
Edit: I use AdGuard on all my devices. I used to use ublock origin, but AdGuard is available on more platforms and has been quite good to me. Also a shoutout to Hush, Mapper, and Noir.
Firefox - I've been using it now since I started using a web browser. I dabbled with Chrome when it first became popular but soon ditched it. I like how Firefox continues to make meaningful improvements, especially relating to privacy.
At work, I managed to convince IT to install Chrome, because the proxy doesn't block chrome extensions but it blocks Firefox ones, and it would frustrate me immensely if I didn't have an ad blocker. 95% of people don't seem to be bothered by the default - which is Edge without an ad blocker.
No self-respecting furry would use anything besides Firefox. Besides, Chrome hogs memory like a hideous, slavering beast.
Firefox. I like it and that it is an independent company that develops their own robust engine. It led the pack until Chrome.
I like Vivaldi when I need Chrome, they make a great browser that bucks the bulky interface trend Chrome started. I tried to switch to it but felt guilty about not using Firefox.
Vivaldi on my phone.
Vivaldi has two features that makes it my favourite Chromium browser for Android: The tab bar for quicker and easier switching between tabs, and the preview page feature for visiting a link without your current page reloading when you switch back to it.
Firefox because a browser monopoly is a bad thing. On mobile devices: DuckDuckGo browser, with Firefox as a backup if a site is broken on DDG for some reason (which is rare).
I'm actually not sure, and when I went to try to find out, I couldn't find anything definitive. I always assumed it was their own software, though I suppose it could use the same rendering engine as Chrome.
I don't know what engine they use on Android, but if you're talking about the version on iOS/iPadOS, it uses the WebKit (Safari) engine... since all browsers on those devices are forced to use it. :(
That might be changing soon though, thankfully.
Firefox. Not doing so actively abets Google's evils.
So this will probably sound crazy but I have a bunch of web browsers installed on my PC. I just like to try them all. I mainly use Firefox though. Everything else:
Firefox Developer Edition
There may be some others that I've forgotten. This is on Windows. On Linux, I just have Firefox. On my Android too which also comes with Chromium by default (GrapheneOS).
Whatever I do, I always come back to Firefox. It's just superior and the best there is. If you're not bothered to mess around with its settings to "harden" it and whatnot, you can't go wrong with LibreWolf. It does most if not all that stuff by default, and in a way it's similar to Brave.
LibreWolf and Brave are both browsers I'd install for anyone on the go, or when I'm not using my own computers and I'd like to do whatever online. To this day people always trip out when they realize they never have to face ads again anywhere.
I use several different browsers, but mainly I use Opera
Firefox with some adblocker and some tab-on-the-side extension (currently: Sideberry) has been a staple of my web browsing for a few years now.
I used Brave for about 2 years and last year switched to Edge. I love the idea behind Brave, but it started to feel a bit clunky and heavy. Edge on the other hand is fast, syncs my bookmarks, easily sends web links between my phone and computer, and my favorite default feature on desktop: vertical tabs!
I've jumped through a lot of different browsers and will probably migrate again. Given the comments in here it sounds like Firefox might be worth a revisit.
I'm still waiting for a web browser that syncs my search hotkeys across devices!
I'm pretty sure Firefox does that. Honestly kinda surprised Edge doesn't.
Also, if you decide to check out Firefox, it does have a pretty good vertical tabs extension.
I use Firefox on Windows and Linux, and Orion on macOS and iOS.
Firefox at home and Chrome at work. I’d use Firefox at work but something about the work network or PC configuration makes it a little screwy, unfortunately.
Ungoogled Chromium or just Google Chrome. It better intergrated into Linux from box or with a little fixes than f.e. Firefox like function with mouse midle clicks which I used. Also Chromium works better on slow machines or itʼs just my feels. And itʼs Firefox on Android because of extentions but maybe Iʼll review here later if I find something fine.
If about my browser history, then it was so: IE > Firefox ~ Opera (Presto) > Google Chrome (from the first versions).
Firefox cause all the smart people seem to use it.
It's incompatible with OneDrive for some reason, so I use Chromium from time to time.
On my work computer, Chrome. It's the path of least resistance and I need things to just work.
On my personal computer, I use Firefox, mainly because it's what I've used for the past 15 years or so.
On my phone, I used to use Firefox, but then they dropped support for desktop extensions, so now I use Kiwi.
Firefox on my work computer (although I'm sometimes forced to use Chrome and Edge because of work) and DDG on my phone. I have used Brave on my phone but dubious attempts to monetize it put me off it again.
Firefox on everything I can install it on. At this point that means it's on:
I just don't like how much of a sorta de-facto monopoly Chrome + its derivatives have (well, monopoly is probably a bad way to phrase it, but nonetheless, the more than 60% market share it has feels kinda gross to me at least)
I still use a bit of Lynx, not for all web browsing though, of course. I also use Bombadillo for gemini and gopher content. And then there’s Firefox for whatever doesn’t fit into those two.
I use Brave and Firefox